CWB: Farmers should determine future of marketing group

by World Grain Staff
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WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — Following Canada’s Conservative Party majority win on May 2, the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) said farmers should determine the future of the CWB as their marketing organization.

“We congratulate Prime Minister Stephen Harper and look forward to working constructively with the federal government in the best interests of the farmers of Western Canada,” said Allen Oberg, chair of the CWB’s farmer-controlled board of directors. “Through a sound democratic election process, they have chosen their representatives on the CWB's board of directors since 1998.

"Farmers have the right to continue to make the decisions themselves about the role and structure of their marketing approach. The path forward must be forged in clear accordance with their wishes.

"This issue is crucial to farmers' livelihoods, to the economic stability and competitive viability of Canadian wheat and barley exports, and to the spirit of democracy."

With its majority win, the Conservative Party now has the legislative power to strip the board’s 76-year-old monopoly and give Western Canada’s farmers a choice in who they sell to.

"This theory that the board is going to shrink and disappear is absolutely ridiculous," Conservative Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told Reuters. "There's going to be some changes coming, absolutely. But the board will remain."
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